As that 65th birthday approaches, are different Medicare plans on your mind? And are you wondering how to choose the right one for your situation? Go ahead and put your mind at ease. The fact that you are here reading this article means you’re ahead of the pack! The sooner you start on learning the details, the easier time of it you will have when open enrollment period begins.
Your first chance at enrollment is the 3 months both before and after your 65th birth month. And you have 7 months to call or sign up in person. The complications of Medicare arise with the patchwork of plans that you can choose from. Whether it be Original Medicare + Medigap, or Medicare Advantage.3wSA##aqy [email protected]@
So for those of you who are wondering how to choose a Coverage plan that will meet your needs, here is what to consider:
Costs and coverage amounts
While Original Medicare will help cover costs, it will not cover all costs. What services do you currently require, and what do you foresee needing in the future? Will the plan or combination of plans provide adequate coverage for your health needs? If not, keep looking. Medicare Parts A and B cover inpatient and outpatient services and supplies, but only to a limit. If you need more coverage, consider a policy under Medigap, or a Medicare Advantage plan to boost your protective umbrella.
Prescriptions and Drugs
If you have a good prescription drug coverage plan from an employer, then you may not need to look into this just yet. Medicare.gov states that those with this kind of coverage can generally keep it without paying a penalty when switching later on. But if you are ready to sign up to a Medicare drug plan, consider whether the drugs you take are covered by the plan you are considering. Make sure to read about coverage rules that might govern your prescriptions. And find a plan that covers the drugs and prescriptions you take.
Location of covered health services
Depending on the plan you sign up to, the list of doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities will change based on that plan’s network. There may be some flexibility in choosing an office not too far from your home within the plan’s network. But you may wish to reconsider the plan if it will have you crossing a state line for treatment. This applies particularly if convenience is high on your list of priorities. Research all offices within the plan’s network that you will need to frequent. And make sure they are within an acceptable distance. If you have a doctor or hospital that you are attached to, and wish to continue to frequent, inquire about what plan to join for continued coverage.
Ratings and reviews
Take a look at Medicare’s Star Rating system to see how well the plan you are considering has performed. This star rating system measures several categories, such as customer service and quality of care. Star ratings are given for each category, with an overall star rating based on the individual category ratings. Keep in mind that these ratings are reviewed and renewed each fall. So even after you sign up to a plan, you should check back to see if the plan is continuing to perform well. Health plan star ratings can be found on the Medicare.gov site. Don’t forget to read reviews from past users of the health plan as well. Reviews provide in-depth understanding of a plan’s strengths and weaknesses.
These are the main areas to be considered when choosing a Medicare plan. Write out where you stand in these categories. And be prepared to shop around a little. The sooner you start in doing research and asking the important questions, the more time you will have to make a decision that you will be happy with.
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